Roeder defiant over team selection

Glenn Roeder defended his team selection last night as the inquest into City's derby capitulation began.

Glenn Roeder defended his team selection last night as the inquest into City's derby capitulation began.

With skipper Mark Fotheringham absent after sustaining a neck injury in training on Saturday morning, Roeder was forced into a reshuffle, with Matty Pattison moving into centre midfield alongside Darel Russell, Darren Huckerby starting on his favoured left side - and striker Jamie Curteon operating wide right, which raised a few eyebrows.

However, Roeder said Cureton was selected ahead of Lee Croft because of his match fitness - and ability to score goals.

"We haven't got a big squad, we've got a very small squad and we've been fortunate with injuries," he said. "So I was being as positive as I could with the three strikers. We have three strikers, we haven't got four, we have got three. We played all three of them. Cureton is match fit at the moment, he has played in the wide position before and done very well.

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"Ched Evans is an out-and-out striker and will be a very good striker who scores plenty of goals and you can hardly expect Dion Dublin to play wide on the right when he's 39 this week. Lee Croft hasn't played that much football recently. I wanted players who were match fit, match hardened, and a goal threat. Lee Croft hasn't scored a goal this year."

Having seen Evans give City the perfect start with a goal after four minutes, it soon began to unravel, with City never recovering after an own goal by Alex Pearce after 12 minutes and Danny Haynes' winner before half-time.

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"It was disappointing to say the least, especially when we had such a great start," Roeder said. "We didn't take hold of the game thereafter, we let it slip through our fingers, gave Ipswich the initiative and we paid the price with a fortunate goal. The goal that got them back in was a decent cross into the box admittedly, but I like to think Alex Pearce in the whole of his career won't do that again, and you wouldn't wish that on anyone either. That was really bad luck for a young lad, especially in a game of this magnitude. It was hugely disappointing for everyone involved in the club; the players, the staff and our supporters - who were magnificent again."

The performance didn't come close to the watershed game at Plymouth early in his regime - which he described as "the pits" - but the paucity of chances was obvious.

"That will be part of it, that we didn't work Stephen Bywater enough, and it's the first game for probably four or five games where we haven't made chances," he said. "I think it was very much more down to our poor performance than any, if you want, great defending by Ipswich because we didn't put them under any great pressure.

"We were trying to get an equaliser, any team that is trying to get an equaliser is going to get caught on the counter attack. The goalkeeper made a couple of good saves and there was some poor finishing from Ipswich thankfully, which kept us in with half a chance."

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